First I need to mention that I had breast cancer 7 years ago at age 40 (BRCA1), and had a double mastectomy and implant reconstruction. From what I understand, some muscles run over the implant, and there is very little "tissue" in my chest area left.
I had a workout injury a couple weeks ago: an intercostal rib sprain. This past Monday, 5 days ago, I went to see a friend recommended chiropractor to see if he could help the healing go a little faster. He was super aggressive. One of the things he did was an anterior chest wall, sternum type adjustment. It was painful.
Immediately afterwards he looked a little scared and said something like "that was very different than anything I have ever felt". He said to expect some soreness, and I did - pretty intense for like 48 hours.
But now 5 days later, it is still hurting quite a bit. Low-grade constant pain when not moving, and intense pain if something like hiccuping or using certain muscles in the area; for instance I was carrying a bottle, almost dropped it and moved quickly but not too much to catch it, and it hurt like crazy. Even coughing, laughing, or talking loud hurts.
I saw my GP the next day, and we had decided to wait it out a bit before subjecting myself to radiation or scans, treatment for anything broken would be the same anyway, so why do unnecessary radiation?.
Do you have any knowledge of issues that could arise with a situation like this? Any thought on how long this pain could last, or suggestions for what to do?
Thanks so much.
Breast amputees are vulnerable to a condition called Tietze's syndrome. It affects the joints with the sternum which become painful and sometimes swollen. Vigorous manipulation aggravates it, particularly if done heavily in the midback.
The manipulation obviously didn't cause the problem, but it seems may have aggravated it.
Increased pain, or drug reactions, occurs all the time with all treatment; it's known as iatrogenic or doctor caused disease. The usual way is to face the practitioner squarely that he has increased your pain. Yours is a scenario that occurred in my office until I got interested in Tietzes syndrome after increasing several patient's pain. That's if you choose to go back.
I'm afraid that the prognosis with Tietzes syndrome is not great if untreated. Do you have a visible lump over the joint? If you press on the rib breastbone joint is it painful? Of course, I'm speculating about Tietzes, but it does sound typical.
I have evolved a treatment that works pretty well; if you want to ask your chiropractor to contact me, we can discuss the nuts and bolts of it; is the kind of guy who will listen to you, and work with me? Or a know it all?
Meantime start using alternating ice and heat over the joints involved.
I hope this contributes.
PS. Sorry to be blunt but have you made a radical lifestyle change since the cancer? If not if will come back. In particular, research fingers hormone replacement treatment and animal protein; start using legumes like chickpeas, hummus, tofu and lentils for your protein. Use the Sitesearch facility to find out how to make your own hummus; it's very easy. Good luck.
1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.
2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.
3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree.
Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.
4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.
He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.
5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.
6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.
7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.
8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.
9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.
10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.
11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.
12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.
13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback
since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he
has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments
he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?
And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.
Greetings, Dr B. You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.
Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.
You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.
The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.
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Issue #49: Consulting a locum / Green salad /Eggs Florentine
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Issue #47: Life without medication/ Eight coloured foods
Issue #46: Lower backs and ankles/ kaempferol and cancer prevention
Issue #45: Tingling, weakness and malaise/ vitamin B1
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This site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or manage any illness. Please consult your chiropractor.
The information is to the best of my ability at the time of writing accurate and correct. Queries, comments and corrections are very welcome.